About a year ago I unfollowed a guy on Twitter. It wasn’t for anything he said or did, it was for the way he said it. He was Captain Disagreeable. He challenged everything, and typically the points he challenged were incredibly minor. It would result in the person he was challenging bending over backwards to pacify him, and that would only intensify his ‘challenging’ them. It was obvious that this person simply enjoyed arguing with people and he would until he got bored, then move on.
Now imagine that this guy is going to be using social media to connect with your customers everyday, and to represent your brand online.
The simple fact is that putting social tools in the hands of socially-challenged people is a disaster waiting to happen. Not every employee in your company should be connecting with your customers directly via any communication tool.
Now I’m not saying that your employees shouldn’t be trained in social media. There’s enormous value in understanding how your customers are using these tools. Even if that employee won’t be using social media to connect directly with your customers via those tools.
But not every employee should be connecting directly with your customer, regardless of the tool used. Nordstrom has a great list of social media guidelines for its employees, but note at the very beginning it clearly states that these guidelines are for employees that have been approved to use social media as a way to communicate with the brand’s customers.
Putting social media in the hands of an anti-social employee won’t suddenly improve their communication skills, it will improve their ability to connect with your customers.
It’s up to you to decide if that’s a smart move or not.